2 April 2014 Grant Turnbull
Turkey’s defence industry is booming. Arms exports are on the up and the proportion of equipment in the armed forces made outside Turkey is falling every year. Turkey is now building its own UAVs, naval ships and even a main battle tank. But this drive for self-sufficiency could affect Turkey’s decades-old relationship with NATO and foreign suppliers.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey and its first president, once said: "Freedom and independence is my character". That simple phrase uttered many decades ago has evolved into a philosophy that now permeates modern Turkish politics and culture. Nowhere is that more true than Turkey's booming defence industry, where freedom and independence is seen as a key goal for the country's leaders.